Grapefruit Cupcakes

When I looked in my fridge, I saw a big tub of yogurt and a bunch of grapefruits staring back at me. What to do, what to do? I searched around in my bookmarks and found this recipe for grapefruit yogurt cake. It looked promising, but I was going to be having people over, and cake can get complicated with plates, forks, and knives among a bunch of people. I decided to make the cake recipe into a cupcake recipe, and I was really pleased with the results! There was a definite grapefruit flavor, but the icing gave them a sweet touch. The cake itself was fluffy and moist; perfect! I would highly recommend these to anyone who loves grapefruit. And they’re just in time for summer! Recipe after the jump.

Grapefruit Cupcakes

Grapefruit Cupcakes
Combine your flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

Grapefruit Cupcakes
Combine your sugar and grapefruit zest in a large bowl.

Grapefruit Cupcakes
Use your hands to rub the sugar and zest together until the sugar is a pale orange/yellow color. This helps to incorporate all of the flavorful oils from the zest into the sugar and in turn, the cupcakes.

Grapefruit Cupcakes
Add the eggs, vanilla, and yogurt to the sugar. Beat well.

Grapefruit Cupcakes
Beat in the flour slowly, then fold in the vegetable oil.

Grapefruit Cupcakes
Line and/or grease your muffin tins and fill each cup with 1/4 cup of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until the cakes spring back when touched and are lightly golden.

Grapefruit Cupcakes
While the cupcakes bake, make your simply syrup (this looks like a lot of juice, but I doubled the recipe).

Grapefruit CupcakesGrapefruit Cupcakes
Pour the grapefruit juice and the sugar into a small pan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

Grapefruit Cupcakes
The cakes look done to me.

Grapefruit Cupcakes
While they’re still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in.

Grapefruit Cupcakes
When the cupcakes have cooled completely, drizzle them with the icing mixture.

Grapefruit Cupcakes
And enjoy!

Grapefruit Cupcakes
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 cupcakes
Cupcake Muffin
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of three smallish grapefruits
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Simple Syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ⅓ cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (from the grapefruits above)
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 2-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (from the grapefruits above)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and/or line a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl. In a larger bowl, combine the sugar and grapefruit zest and rub together with your hands until the sugar is a pale yellow/orange color.
  3. Add the yogurt, eggs, and vanilla to the sugar mixture. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it is all incorporated.
  4. Pour ¼ cup of batter into each muffin cup and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cakes are a golden color and they spring back when touched.
  5. Make the simple syrup while the cakes bake. Pour the grapefruit juice and the sugar into a small pan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.
  6. When the cakes are done, allow them to cool in the pan for a few minutes. While the cupcakes are still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely and remove from the pan.
  7. Make the glaze. Whisk the grapefruit juice and confectioner's sugar together until smooth. Drizzle over the cake and allow to harden for a little bit. Makes about 12 cupcakes.
Adapted From


24 Responses

  1. Pearl says:

    oh i so remember your grapefruit cake – how perfectly mobile and convenient that they’re now in cupcake form!

  2. Elyse says:

    Mmm, these cupcakes look absolutely fabulous! I love the grapefruit flavor you instilled in the sugar, and that simple syrup is just fabulous!! I can’t wait to try these out.

  3. ziabaki says:

    Well, these pretty much make my tummy growl. I have got to try these! I think they would be easy to lighten up too, seeming I think it is my special purpose in life to do that. Thanks for the post!
    Dana Zia

  4. Coleen says:

    That first photo is one of the GREATEST cupcake photos I’ve EVER seen. I just SPEAKS to me…beautiful.

  5. sara says:

    I’m so glad you liked the recipe! The cupcakes look super delicious. 😀 Gorgeous photos!

  6. Dragon says:

    I can’t wait to try these cupcakes. They look amazing!

  7. Mia says:

    They look absolutely delicious, so fluffy and I can just imagine the delicate grapefruit flavor!

  8. amy says:

    i love grapefruit! :) thanks for such a gorgeous looking cupcake and recipe!

  9. Isn’t grapefruit divine in baked goods? I made a grapefruit yogurt cake recently, too – recipe via Joy the Baker.

  10. Kate says:

    I don’t even LIKE grapefruit all that much but I want to make these for friends as they look so scrumptious!

  11. eatsuep says:

    yum!!! grapefruit is too often forgotten in baking! i’ll definitely try these out with some extra zest in the glaze..perhaps from a lemon to add color and flavor :)

  12. Memoria says:

    I want to make these now!! YUM!!

  13. gee I don’t have the patience to make em, but I’d sure eat em up!

  14. ingrid says:

    Looks good….my jaw was tingling seeing all that grapefruit zest and juice.

  15. lindsay says:

    this is the first time i have EVER made muffins from scratch. they’re great!!!

  16. Heleny says:

    mm these look delicious. I’m craving some grapefruit now. Better yet, grapefruit cupcakes! I’ve never tried ’em before but I agree, definitely looks great for the summer.

  17. duodishes says:

    Yum, glad to have found your site today. Love these! The citrus yogurt cake recipe is a true winner.

  18. Maire says:

    Oh my goodness…. I Stumbled across your blog and have now fallen completely in love with it! and after looking over your past recipes and entries I have a few recipes that i know you would love!
    I’ve wanted to do my own food blog for a while but I am a terrible “traditional” photographer and I am also a 3rd year engineering student, so no extra time at all.
    Let me know if you would like these recipes! I make them all the time for my hubby and he loves them.

  19. Jude says:

    I’m gonna have to reuse that grapefruit syrup and glaze in other recipes instead of the plain version. Great idea.

  20. Mindy says:

    Found you through my Google Reader, and am so glad I did. I absolutely love grapefruit and just don’t have enough recipes for them! Thanks!

  21. ingrid says:

    Syndey! This whole post of yours has been lifted and posted on another. As a matter of fact that other blog seems to compilation of everyone elses posts along with their photos.

  22. ingrid says:

    Hi, Sydney! Listen another blog when I first started blogging had the same thing happen to them. She wrote letters to the other blog’s hosting company and the thieving blog was shut down. If I was you I would make contact with the other blogs that are being “lifted” and ban together. I heard Jenn (??) of use real butter had some really good suggestions. From the few posts I saw they are “lifting” from some big blogs. Peabody’s being one. Email me and I’ll tell you what I know so far.

  23. Stephanie says:

    Those look so divine! I’ll have to make those sometime.

  24. thecrepesofwrath says:

    Ingrid: I saw that, but what can I do? I commented, but I don’t think there’s much else to do. I’m so mad!

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